Friday, January 12, 2018

Swalwell voted to extend NSA's ability to spy on Americans without a warrant

Rep. Eric Swalwell's support for warrantless
surveillance is nothing new.
Very few members of Congress have been more critical of President Trump than East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell. But Swalwell was among a group of Democrats that helped pass legislation Thursday--backed by the President--to renew the National Security Agency's authority to gather communications from telecom companies without a warrant. The action aimed a foreign targets, though, can also allow the NSA to surveil Americans who are not the subject of an investigation.

The House voted, 256-164, to extend for another six years the surveillance program. Swalwell support veered from that of the East Bay congressional caucus. Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna voted no Thursday, while Reps. Mark DeSaulnier and Jerry McNerney did not register a vote.

Swalwell's vote may risk the support of progressive Alameda County Democrats and his constituents in the 15th congressional district (The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald skewered Swalwell's vote on Friday). But Swalwell's predilection toward law and order has been fairly consistent over this three terms in Congress, especially when it comes to digital government surveillance.

In early 2013, one of Swalwell's first-ever votes backed a bill giving the government the authority to view the personal web histories of Americans. Known as Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), the proposed legislation was highly controversial and led to a social media uproar and some well-known sites going black in protest.

Shortly after came damning disclosures by NSA whitleblower Edward Snowden of widespread warrantless spying by the government on ordinary Americans. The intense spotlight on the issue forced a number of votes to stem government surveillance.

One of them was an amendment by Rep. Justin Amash in the summer of 2013 that forbid the NSA from collecting the phone records of Americans. Swalwell voted in favor of the Amash amendment. When he ran for re-election this next year, he neglected to mention his vote on CISPA and falsely maintained the Amash amendment was the only vote he ever took on the issue of privacy rights.


  1. By MW:

    Tavares must have information wrong on this one, since Swalwell is not merely a "liberal," but even a "Bay area style liberal," and I am absolutely ten million percent confident that no such creature could possibly be just a big phony, demagogue, and world class windbag.

  2. By MW:

    As a followup to my previous post, Swalwell is a law school graduate, and it should be illegal for those of us who are not law school graduates to question the judgment of, or even show lack of respect for, anyone who is a law school graduate.

    In other words, law school graduates are extremely superior people. For more details on that, study the actions, statements, and "thinking" and "logic" of Nadia Locker and Nate Miley.

    And it was law school graduates, specifically Willie Brown and SF mayor George Moscone, who "knew" that Jim Jones, and later of Jonestown infamy, was a wonderful and totally trustworthy person and of the very highest integrity, and as they repeatedly informed the Bay area general public.

    In fact everytime I get a summons for jury duty, I then write a letter to the presiding judge stating that I am not qualified to be a juror, since if I was in the courtroom I would not give any credence to the statements. "reasoning," and "logic" presented by the escumbags, scam artists, weasels, and professional pathological liars and common criminals hiding behind law licenses who pretend to be involved in the practice of law.

  3. This guy gets away with everything.

  4. He's always throwing someone under the wheels of the bus.

  5. Swalwell's supporters don't need facts getting in the way of their fanaticism.